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Thursday, April 17, 2008


7-8 beats 4-11, but the wasting of quality starts from folks like Eaton and Kendrick (not to mention the other starters) is disturbing.

I think Bourn is better than Victorino. I don't know how good Bourn really will be long term and Vic is a nice little player, but he's not too "baseball smart", as pointed out in this site's comments.

If Lidge does well and gets resigned, I'll feel better about it.

Off topic a bit...

I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but if the Phillies managed to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th, who was going to play shortstop in the 10th? Dobbs?

Vic is a hell of a player, his not being too "baseball smart" has lead him to going all out on just about every play... recall his dive into the stands last year? Stupid, but he showed he was willing to sacrafice himself for the team (though i'll admit if he got her that woulda been dumb, haha). but if Bourne turns out to be a great player, so be it. We got Lidge and as long as he succeeds here and we resign him, I'm happy with the trade...

Well, I'm more comfortable with Vic out there in CF, especially with Burrell in left. If we resign Burrell (which we really should do, at least for a couple more years), I'll take Vic and his lower offensive production but superior glove/arm over Bourn.

Of course, if Vic can't stay healthy this is all moot, right?

Gaze, I'm assuming that Feliz would move to short and Dobbs would have played third. I'll wait for patiently for someone to tell me I'm wrong.

Bourn has a lot more growing to do as a player and there was no possibility of that getting done here. So, on the one hand, if he does become a solid player over the next couple of years, you can think about what might have been, but on the other hand, he's not going to get to that point without consistent playing time, which the Phillies could not have provided.

The trade was definitely worth it because they got a valuable part that they can use right now, when Bourn would have only small value for them. They're a contending team, they can't always bring players up to let them grow into spots when they have pressing concerns.

Too early to say anything about Bourn. He is good at stealing bags, but until I see a full season of him out there, I am going to hold judgement.

Plus, don't we have Golson in development to take over for Vic in a few years? We have an overstock of speedy CFs in our system, Bourn was the most obvious one to deal due to his MLB experience and our belief that Golson is going to be even better.

Lidge and Myers in the rotation now > Bourn in the future

Don't mean to move off-topic, but I does this Rollins ankle injury remind anybody else of the Howard injury last year? I know I am not the first to post about this, but it is becoming increasingly bothersome about the Phillies refusal to acknowledge that a player might be injured and giving him the time to heal. I want Jimmy out there everyday, but when I hear LA comment that Jimmy is limping to first after getting a hit in the ninth (and then getting replaced by a pinch runner), it sounds to me that the Phillies should just shut him down and allow it to heal, whether it requires a DL stint or not. Every once in a while keeping a guy like that around will benefit the team (e.g., Howard's HR against Arizona last year), but over the long haul, it seems stupid.

to be honest, i would have loved to see how bourn would develop under uncle cholly. i'm willing to bet that he would have found far more pop in his bat.

bourn is still under exposed, and we'll see how he does in the next two years.

bourn's career obp in 136 abs is .335, and his career ops+ is 82 . . . i know we phils fans like to anticipate disaster, but all bourn has done in the majors is steal a few bases, and other than that he hasn't consistently produced.

Let's wait till he becomes even an average major leaguer before we start our second guessing.

No regrets here on the Bourn trade. I don't believe he's infinitely faster than Vic. Frankly, with Vic in the two-hole, he's going to steal a lot less frequently than Bourn does leading off in a much less-potent lineup.

I like Bourn, but I think we made the right choice. Vic had the better track record and was a better fit, in my mind. I think Bourn's skills are more easily replaced than what I think Vic can do, assuming he gets back on track.

ftd: Yeah, but he showed very good patientce in the minors; I would guess, based on that, that his OBP would steadily improve in the majors as gets more time, but who knows.

In the short term, I think we definitely got better, trading a 4th outfielder for a closer which allowed us to move Myers back to the rotation.

In the long term, we probably got a bit worse, as I think Bourn will end up being a slightly more productive player than Victorino (def better offensively, victorino probably has an edge defensively).

Rollins' injury is an ankle injury. Being a speedy leadoff/SS he relies on his ankles. It's phrustrating, but rushing him back or tyring to analyze everyone's reporting of his injury is a bit much. If it was THAT bad of an injury, he wouldn't have already pinch hit.

I hate answering this question... Because I really like both players. I think any answer we give based on this years performance after 2 weeks and an injury is going to be tainted as well.

But at the end of the day, the deal was done to get Brad Lidge, for a WIN NOW scenario. In 2008 is Bourn>Vic? I dont' think necessarily think so. it could be a wash. But in 2008 is Lidge+Vic>Bourn? Yes.

I'd imagine with a tight/sore ankle, hitting wouldn't be as difficult as legging out an infield hit or stealing a base. Rollins looked OK at the plate last night, but clearly not so much when trotting off the field.

Jack: I'm curious, what do you believe gives Bourn the advantage offensively?

Right, but if it was that bad, you rest him/DL him no matter what. If he puts the ball in play/walks, he's going to have to really use that ankle.

By the way, can we end any discussion of Pedro Feliz in the 2-hole? He basically did what was expected, make 4 outs. And that was against a guy he, um... owned? (In that massive 26 PA sample.)

Trading Vic would certainly have been the riskier course of action. Vic is a known entity. He'll hit around .280, have a .345 OBP, hit a few homers, steal lots of bases, play tremendous defense, and spend a good month or so on the DL. Bourn is younger than Victorino and, arguably, has more upside. But we really had/have no idea what kind of hitter he would be if given a chance to play every day. At the high minor league levels, he was basically a .270-.275 hitter with a .350-ish OBP & no power. I could imagine his major league batting average ending up as low as .240 or as high as .280.

If you're trying to win now, it's probably a bad idea to go with a complete wild card as your starting centerfielder. I like Bourn's potential, but I think the Phillies traded the right guy.

To early to tell sice Lidge has pitched in only a few games.

Bourn may be slightly quicker and less injury prone but Vic can bring a better "clubhouse" presence,like what we lost with Rowand.

It's a suprise to see how mobile Werth is on the basepaths but having J-Roll and Vic out at the same time is rough. We need to get into pitchers heads.

CJ - legit question (not trying to start an argument about Feliz right now) is there a consensus as to what a significant sample size is when we're talking head-to-head PA?

I mean, if you figure 26 is over that amount, then one night's work doesn't really cancel that out. Jenkins was 0-3 last night too and had even better numbers in about twice as many PA. Sometimes it just doesn't work.

That's pretty much what I figured... and what I was afraid of.

RE: Rollins injury, there are three opinions on this site:

1. The Phillies are LIARS and LYING to the FANS about the INJURY so that they can sell 1000 extra Rollins T-Shirts per week.. And PURPOSELY working with 1 less roster spot to spite the fans.
2. The Phillies are INCOMPETENT and have no understanding of SPRAINED ANKLE injuries and are stuck with one less roster spot.
3. Sprained Ankles (that don't require surgery) are tricky injuries and players are typically placed day-to-day. Much of the determination is not based on physical damage, but pain threshold and whether risk of injury would be greater if a player was Not comfortable or if he weren't playing at 100% would be detrimental to the team. In many cases the manager and training staff have to rely on the VETERAN player to tell them if he can go or not. And that determination has to be made... DAY to DAY.

To answer the first question of the threa.. It's never a mistake to improve your pitching.

Yes, vegas, Victorino may have an OBP of .294, and a slugging pct. of .277. But, as proven by statistically validated, and highly reliable, scientific methodologies, he is among the league leaders in clubhouse presence.

Mike, but there's a valid argument that a player (esp a passionate one such as Jimmy) will say he's ready to go whether or not he is.

I'm not a physician or a manager, but I know when Rollins was on the field yesterday, he looked injured. Not 80 or 90% there, just plain hurt.

Talking about outfielders - I see Rowand is not doing well and saw last week he didn't even start. batting 263 with no homers and a couple of RBI's.

Sophist: Frankly, I don't buy into the player vs. pitcher sample at all. The circumstances are always changing. Sometimes pitchers get better, sometimes they get worse. Maybe the sample occured during a pitcher's rookie season... maybe it happened while a batter was working through an injury.

A much better indicator of how a player will perform is his current performance and his career performance. That Feliz was moved to the 2-hole because of a 26 PA sample against Oswalt... a sample with no context... is stupid, IMO.

I'm not trying to offend or pick on anyone, but I'm sick of hearing excuses for this team. "7-8 is better than 4-11". "The bats will heat up when the weather heats up". "With Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino out the team is fairing well". Get the job done, that's what I say, and so far this season they haven't done that too often. Whether it's starting pitching failing, bullpen letdown, offense not showing up, or defense booting the ball...they just can't seem to put it all together.

Unfortunately the Phils are missing the guys with the highest motors, Rollins and Victorino, and it shows. Few manufactured runs and the defense looks back on its heels. None of the currently playing leaders (Burrell, Howard, Utley) have that spark so it feels like the team is just going through the motions. In the process they are wasting surprisingly decent performances from the starting and relief guys. Casual fans might not be paying attention, but April baseball matters.

(Not to call out Burrell, hell, his hitting and catch the other day shows he's full throttle. He's just not the guy who will be jawing at the infielder who just made his 3rd error of the game.)

Cholly's using one of his "Everyone has to Start Once a Week" lineups today. Taguchi's in CF, batting leadoff. Dobbs is at third base, batting second. Coste is catching.

I have no problem with the latter 2 decisions, since I hate Feliz & Ruiz hasn't been hitting at all. I do have a problem with starting Taguchi over Werth, who has been one of their hottest hitters. If you want to start Taguchi (or better yet, Snelling), bench Jenkins. He has been horrible.

I agree, since Bourn has been traded, I have been saying how this going to bite us in the ass. He's got more speed than Victorino and Rollins. He hits the ball harder and with more consistency than Victorino, and uses both those abilities to get on base more. Although Rollins has proven himself to be a great leadoff man with atypical leadoff hitter abilities, he is starting to slow and would work better as say a number 2 hitter. Having lineup like Bourn/Rollins/Utley/Howard would have really made some heads spin.

CJ: "Frankly, I don't buy into the player vs. pitcher sample at all. The circumstances are always changing. ... .A much better indicator of how a player will perform is his current performance and his career performance."

Earl Weaver, in the pre-computer era, kept player-vs.-pitcher stats for everyone on his team. It allowed him to pinch-hit guys on what many people thought were 'hunches" (until, later in WEaver's career, his secret about his index cards got out). He made the Hall of Fame in part because he kept those stats. I throw this out there in hopes that maybe you'll trust those stats at least a little bit.

It's too early too tell for both sides who got the better part of the deal. As for the Bourn/Victorino discussion, it is possible that Victorino was offered and the Astros didn't want him.

The Hardball Times did a nice little exploration into the question of the needed at-bats for statistical significance. The conclusion was that it was around 20, but that's only for finding of averages in the 0.700 range for the matchup. For an average around 0.500, it looks like you need 30 at bats or so. So, Feliz/Oswalt is close to significance and Charlie wasn't being ridiculous.

I'll note the piece didn't actually follow whether any of this was actually predictive, though, and you could make the argument that the piece actually showed that the number of "significant" matchups was consistent with what you'd expect just given random variation.

On the Bourn question, it is too early to tell. Right now, despite all his steals, his BA and OBP are too low to be a leadoff hitter. I like Bourn and wish him well. I like Vic, too. They both are sort of fragile. I think Bourn hurt himself running out that single in the first inning lasrt night.

yes the Phils did make a mistake with Bourn, but hopefully Golson's emergence will make us forget about it.

they should've traded Victorino and Kendrick while their values were up...

It's interesting to me how at this early point in the season, you are so ready to throw players under the bus for their poor start. Two words - RE LAX.

I think Bourn is a good player and I was sorry to see him go - but NOT at the expense of Shane. Don't forget that Shane showed a lot of power late in the season and he is a threat to steal at any time.

It's early days, as the Brits say, early days. Everyone calm down.

I don't know how we could miss Bourn, everybody is expecting Golson to be better than him, so we really didn't lose anything for the future.

I thought it was a great trade.

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